IMG_04601. Skein
2. Judith, Skein RI website
3. Skein, Destiny
4. Skein, Judith, Destiny and Fibershed

1. Skein

Bernadette and Judith
Bernadette and Judith

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Destiny and Judith have each been involved with textiles all their adult lives. Sweat equity partner Bernadette Zambrano has brought her unique talents of seed savings and liaison to the native American community to Reinhabitory Institute.
Friends and Family build a cob pizza oven in Chautauqua Counnty on Kinal Homestead
Friends and Family build a cob pizza oven in Chautauqua Counnty on Kinal Homestead
Lenape Chiefs in Forksville PA
Lenape Chiefs in Forksville PA

2. Judith, Skein RI website

Judith Thomas has been a lifelong practitioner of (and master of some) many craft arts, from basketry to book binding, from weaving and dyeing to teaching these crafts to adults and children.  She served as the Handwork Teacher at the East Bay Waldorf School for many years.  Judith, a regular at the Richmond Center for the Arts, has produced many fine and complex pieces on the loom, particularly those working in linen and silk.



She founded Ariadne’s Thread which has delivered the curriculum for Weaving a Life to many small groups of women.  Working on a traveling loom, practitioners of Weaving a Life create a series of forms, including a mask, power belt and amulet bag, doll, basket, which invite states of being into one’s life and invite others to leave!  Destiny for instance saw her novel manuscript for Burning Silk published at the conclusion of her Weaving a Life series.

Judith has been teaching pine needle basket making ,to students who continue working with this friendly material after attending Judith’s classes.
Judith leads tours to textile and basketry sites, like Sally Fox’s organic cotton farm, studios in SF where textile designers produce both whole cloth and products, and collections of baskets by Native American practitioners, as well as textile collections in the museums.

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3. Skein, Destiny

Destiny has been at work on The Textile Trilogy, a study of the nineteenth century in the United States through the novel, for close to twenty years.

textile trilogy

The first novel, published in 2011, Burning Silk, won a first book prize through the independent Book Publishers Association and was well reviewed. The second novel, Linen Shroud, which takes place around the U. S. Civil War, a time of great irreversible change in this country, will be released in 2016. Destiny has been working on the final novel in the trilogy, Oil & Water, from the beginning of her work in prose forms and research into textiles, inspired by her own female line.

Hand dyed skeins from natural dye garden at MIAT in Flanders.

Destiny’s involvement in textiles began with her first job in the SF Bay Area with Alvin Duskin Manufacturing and continued in Aspen Colorado with a venture with Susan Logan and Mollie Favour. Sun Shine Down produced a successful line of children’s down vests throughout the Rockies.

IMG_3649Their exploration of the dynamics between silk and down led Kinal on a lifelong fascination with textiles, their history, and import/meaning.




Kinal with the millman and boosters in Kortryck, Flanders, visiting a working mill which demonstrates various 19th century mechanical means for processing flax without use of extractive power sources.

Destiny travelled to Northern Ireland, France, Flanders and the early oil fields of western NY/PA to collect information about the origins of silk, linen wool, cotton and synthetics.




Sally Fox’s organic cotton, a relative of the hibiscus, occurs naturally in several warm colors. Cotton was hybridized to create the white version.

4. Skein, Judith, Destiny and Fibershed

Judith and Destiny’s common interests in textiles has naturally evolved into the formation of Skein, Reinhabitory Institute’s latest venture.  Is it a coincidence that their introduction to the newly forming Fibershed in the Bay Area blossomed fully into a collaboration on many fronts?

Fibershed in the Bay Area, now five years old, has found its expression in many part of this continent now, a logical sequence somewhat analogous to the explosion of watershed organization two to four decades earlier.  A fibershed organizes textile people in a bioregion for collaboration, marketing and development.
IMG_3195 (4)So for instance, Fibershed created a fermentation floor in Nicasio, a small village in Marin County, to encourage textile people to participate in growing indigo. As part of a cooperative to bulk up the necessary poundage required for an effective fermentation, Skein—led by Judith—grew a significant amount of indigo in 2015 at the East Bay Waldorf School.  Three harvest still only produced just over 20 pounds of the dried plant, not enough for a fermentation.  The indigo is being saved for 2016.


Feltmaking (Painting by Debra Kinal.) Fibershed has innovated tech tools for combing wool, like bicycle power.
(Painting by Debra Kinal.) Fibershed has innovated tech tools for combing wool, like bicycle power.

Destiny participated in a large felt making project of Fibershed’s, to produce interior walls and insulation for the yurt they were building.



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